Turns out, I’m quite terrible at running away from dinosaurs. This is a thing I learned after playing all six chapters of the Jurassic World Revealed game on Alexa, which launches today in tandem with the movie. The first chapter is free, and you can get it by enabling the Jurassic World skill in your Alexa app.
If you choose to embark on this “interactive audio adventure,” as the creators describe it, you’ll spend anywhere between five minutes and an hour with podcaster and aspiring investigative journalist Janet Best. During this time, you play her co-producer Jesse, and you will have to identify dinosaurs, spy on characters from the movie (oh hi, Chris Pratt) and make rapid decisions when confronted with life-threatening situations.
I sat through the game on my Amazon Echo, but you can play it via anything that has Alexa embedded, including the app on Android and iOS phones. Frankly, the biggest challenge for me was actually sticking around for the whole game. I’m not the sort of person who sits for an hour to listen to a podcast — with audio-only media, I often multi-task. So I let the game play in the background as I scrolled through Instagram on my couch and, later, got ready for work. Because my attention was divided, I often missed certain clues as Best narrated our adventure for an in-story podcast audience.
That wouldn’t be a problem if I could simply hit rewind or go back to a previous chapter, but I couldn’t. When I asked Alexa to “go to previous chapter” or “go back,” nothing happened, and the game would resume. Worse, when I said “Alexa, pause,” it would skip ahead a chapter. It’s not yet clear if this is just a bug with my beta, but still, the only way to pause the game for now is to say “Alexa, stop.” Then you’ll have to start the skill again by saying “Alexa, open Jurassic World” and choosing “Resume.”
Aside from those gameplay mechanics issues, Jurassic World Revealed is a mostly enjoyable and engaging ride. It’s very well produced, and the sounds of dinosaurs roaring in the background and leaves crunching under heavy footsteps helped re-create an aural version of Isla Nublar in my living room. In my quiet apartment, it was easy to hear every little detail, but I imagine you’d need more powerful speakers to enjoy this experience in a noisier setting. Or you could fire this up on your phone and plug in earbuds. Bigger, better speakers aren’t necessary for enjoying Jurassic World Revealed, though. The sound effects were clear enough on my Echo (2nd gen).
A still from the first Jurassic World movie.
The game opens with your arrival on the island, establishing Best as the host and co-producer of your podcast. It’s set during the events of the Fallen Kingdom movie, and you learn about the ongoing efforts of the Dinosaur Protection Group